NTEU Media Release: Union calls on Chancellor and Council to intervene on ANU School of Music decision
A mass meeting of National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members held at the Australian National University (ANU) today unanimously called on Chancellor, Professor Gareth Evans and the University Council to intervene in the increasingly disastrous decision around the ANU School of Music.
ACT Division Secretary, Stephen Darwin outlined to the meeting the failure of ANU Vice-Chancellor, Ian Young, to respond in any real way to the overwhelmingly negative feedback to his School of Music proposal.
Darwin also raised the improving ANU financial situation that made cuts unnecessary and the growth in the university executive when cuts are occurring to teaching and learning.
“The management of the School of Music issue has proved a public relations disaster for the ANU, resulting in untold reputational damage and the prospective loss of very significant endowments and bequests,” Darwin said in a letter to the Chancellor advising of the outcome of the meeting.
“External members of both the School of Music and ANU Endowment Fund have resigned in protest.”
“Large segments of the business and music communities have been sorely alienated.”
“Worst of all, staff and students of the School of Music staff have been left deeply distressed,” the letter said.
In calling on the ANU Council to directly intervene to reverse this increasing disastrous decision, NTEU members judged the staff cuts will effectively spell the end of the ANU School of Music.
“Although members recognised the earlier ANU Council resolution on this matter, the evidence of an improved ANU financial situation revealed in the 2011 Annual Report and the extremely negative reaction to the Vice-Chancellor’s announcement on the School of Music made a reconsideration of this decision by Council imperative if ANU is to sustain a high quality music education programs into the future,” Darwin said.
The mass meeting also unanimously endorsed an interim Log of Claims to spark the next round of Enterprise Bargaining.
This claim includes claims no compulsory redundancies and job security, and creates the potential for later industrial action should the university not guarantee future jobs in the School of Music.